Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cummins School House weeks 1 & 2- Mason

The Cummins school is in session!  The boys have really taken to the school schedule (love the schedule!) They are still wanting to "walk" to school every morning....We go out the back door and after feeding the chickens and rabbit they hug and kiss me good bye at the back door, Mason holds James hand and they walk (with empty backpacks on) to the front door and ring the "school's" door bell.  I am willing to play along with it as long as it keeps them happy with doing school!
researching invertebrates online
Both boys take their school work time seriously, even James tells Mason to leave "his" school area when he comes over to see what we are doing.  Mason is zooming right trough the beginning lessons we have done, I spent all summer preparing the lessons and materials and I am already finding that I need to get together more.
here is what he has done so far...

Math: red & blue rods, teen/ten board,100 chain, snake game
This is the Nile river were the first Egyptians became farmers.  The Nile river floods every year which would bring rich soil to the farm land.  This project mimics that idea...we flood the river each week to water the winter wheat we planted.
History: Intro tray, keeping track of time, &  counting tree rings
 Our history curriculum also includes "the-story-of-the-world- we are doing with out Co-Op group. we have learned about the Samaritans or nomads, the first Egyptians, and the first writings.
Geology: We learned that Geology is the science that studies the Earths history that is recorded in rocks. Both boys collected rocks from the yard, washed them, and glued them to a board titled "our rock collection"

 For something fun to do...I found this Racing Ramps activity HERE, Mason LOVED it! This is right up his ally. I have to add some fun stuff into the day, so its not all work! He followed the command cards and built the ramps to race the cars down, put the marker cards were they stopped and then drew a pic of the car that one, complete with the square floor tiles!

 Science: We have been learning about Life Cycles! So much fun! We had LOTS of these really bright green caterpillars on the carrots patch in the garden, so we put 2 in a jar to watch what it turned into (we were not sure at the time if they were beneficial bugs or pests) with in a week it made a crystallise and then 2 weeks later James comes running up to me with the jar yelling "Look Mama, look what happened in the jar!" Isn't she beautiful! We looked at her a few minuets and then took her out side where she was more than happy to fly away! That was cool!
We also have various seeds we have found on the nature table milkweed,acorns,pine cones,apple for checking out with the magnify glasses.
I have books out about the seasons.
Mason is taking a class called "Save The Bay" in RI. All year they will explore and learn about invertebrates! So we are doing the Montessori invertebrates now along with it. We have the tray with invertebrate figures in it (starfish,bee,spider,octopus...) I just downloaded and printed the Types-of-Invertebrates-Nomenclature-Cards- from Montessori For Everyone (they are awesome and saving me time!)

We took out the compass and map and found places where friends and family live around the US and put little stickers on them.

He has started cursive, and seems to enjoy it so far.  I gave him a wipe off book to practice in and he chooses it everyday., He also made a pic and letter to a friend in NJ, addressed the envelope and mailed it to her.  We are going to try to do this to someone different each week.

Mason started piano lessons this week.  He LOVED it! His new teacher Nathan from Norton Piano School was a great match for him.  Nathan was very impressed with his musical abilities! This is the first class he has been in where he was bright eyed and attentive the whole time! He was really interested in everything Nathan was saying. We look forward to the next couple of weeks to see how he continues.

So all in all it has been a great couple of weeks here at the Cummins school house.



  1. Kerry, sounds wonderful! I think my "D" will love the Racing Ramps activity.

    Hope we see you guys soon! It's been too long.

  2. So glad you find our Types of Invertebrates Cards helpful! It looks like you have lots of awesome ideas for great projects!